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5 Tips for Getting Started with Individual Stock Trading

Despite what you might think or have heard, not all investing is created equal. There is a big difference in investing in the stock market and investing by trading individual stocks. Both are classified as investing. But in reality individual stock trading is quite different from traditional investing.

The biggest difference relates to time frames. Individual stock trading is more focused on short-term movements in the market. Trades are done frequently based on the up and down movement of the individual stock. Stock traders try to gauge the momentum of the market and use things like technical analysis to give them an advantage in trading.

Traditional investing has a more long-term focus, spanning years and even decades. Instead of focusing on individual stocks, long-term investors traditionally rely on mutual funds as their investing vehicle of choice. Mutual funds provide more stability and spread your investing dollars around over many different stocks. In that way, they create instance diversity for your money.

There are times in the markets history when stocks have been red hot. In fact, in the last couple of years, the indexes have been climbing higher and higher, setting new records along the way. At times like this, individual stock trading becomes enticing. And with new options to invest in, like the few bitcoin stocks that are moving higher, people can be drawn into this time of investing.

It’s important to remember though that there are things to consider before trading in individual stocks. Even when things are going great, you must always be aware of the risks. Otherwise, you might get yourself into a lot of trouble. Keep these tips in mind if you are interested in individual stock trading.

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This One Stock Chart Could Make or Break You Over the Next 20 Years

stock chartMy investment plan is pretty simple – invest in retirement and non-retirement stock and bond mutual funds and sprinkle in a little real estate investing along the way. I invest for the long-term and don’t pull money out of the market at the first sign of a downtrend. Instead, I continue to invest monthly during a downturn to pick up more shares of stock at lower prices.

Because this is my philosophy, I don’t pay attention to the day-to-day fluctuations of the market. I quit listening to CNBC and other financial news programs years ago. While some of the programming was tolerable, they are news organizations, interested in ratings and what’s happening with the markets in the short-term.

The majority of the opinions I heard on any given day about the state of the markets and what I should be doing accordingly, didn’t jive with my long-term investment strategy.

One aspect of investing that has always intrigued me though is the stock chart. When these pop up on the news channels or I see one online (like I did yesterday) I often take notice.

Short-Term Stock Chart

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